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Dartmouth’s Ron Taylor Tackles Both Obesity & Obstacle Course Races

Our August issue had profiles of some amazing South Coast athletes. In this season of New Year’s resolutions, we thought it’d be great to throw them online for a shot of inspiration, motivation, or just plain appreciation. Today: Meet Ron Taylor!

Photo by Elin Bodin

Ron Taylor, Jr. was never much of an athlete, and he had been overweight since middle school.

Obesity runs in his family and his mother had gastric bypass surgery to lose the unwanted weight.

But it wasn’t until Taylor’s father-in-law had a massive heart attack at a relatively young 56 did he elect to undergo the surgery himself with Dr. Rayford Kruger, Physician-in-Chief of the Surgery Care Center for  Southcoast Health, who is based in Wareham’s Tobey Hospital.

Little did he know that the surgery would open a whole new fitness hobby and community to him.

His first Obstacle Course Race (OCR), where you are tasked with running a distance but overcoming man-made obstacles along the way, was a short 5K sprint on a farm in Barre, Massachusetts. Then he did Spartan Race’s renowned Killington Beast a year later a half-marathon distance OCR.

His fave is now the annual F.I.T. Challenge out in Cumberland, RI, which takes place in chilly early April. But he dreams to one day do what is called an Ultra, a 30+ mile event. He had attempted one in New Jersey, but was pulled off the course due to his Raynaud’s Syndrome, a medical condition that reduces blood flow, causes pain, and turns the fingers a ghostly white.

He doesn’t run the races for times necessarily, but to finish. “I have always been goal-oriented, and with this, I am trying to find that physical limit,” he says.

A few factors figure into this. One is his Raynaud’s. The other is his stomach capacity. “I can’t eat like everyone else before and during the race,” he says.

Immediately after his surgery, he started joining social media groups of people who were physically active post-surgery. At first, 30 days out when he was cleared for exercise, he took up CrossFit. But it was ultimately the runner’s high he sought.

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Gevvie Stone

Olympian Gevvie Stone: Row Like A Girl

Our August issue had profiles of some amazing South Coast athletes. In this season of New Year’s resolutions, we thought it’d be great to throw them online for a shot of inspiration, motivation, or just plain appreciation…

At 5:00 am six mornings a week, Genevra “Gevvie” Stone is awake to train.

You’ll likely find Gevvie rowing with local masters men, most of whom have themselves raced as members of the U.S. Rowing team. She often beats them soundly.

Right now, rowing is her job. But she doesn’t see it that way.“There’s something about rowing, including the nap I take after the morning row [she laughs], that makes it seem like it’s not work.”

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Arthur Mpofu Finds Home in Mixed Martial Arts

Our August issue had profiles of some amazing South Coast athletes. In this season of New Year’s resolutions, we thought it’d be great to throw them online for a shot of inspiration, motivation, or just plain appreciation. Up next: Arthur Mpofu!

It can be hard for a teenager from Botswana to come to America without parental guidance.

But Arthur Mpofu, now 23, settled in Wareham with a foster family, became fluent in English and has nary a trace of an accent, and graduated high school.

He was working essentially two full-time jobs to eke out a living, but it was monotonous, exhausting and he lacked any personal fulfillment. He was desperate for an outlet for his passion.

Since he enjoyed watching ultimate fighting, he strolled into SBG East Coast one day to inquire about its mixed martial arts classes. He was instantly hooked. He’s only been involved in the sport for two years now, and in August 2018, he appeared in his first sanctioned fight. He won another a few months later and became amateur champion of his 135 lbs. weight class. Unfortunately he lost the belt on June 15. He’s still 3-1 and looking forward to using the loss as a learning experience. He plans on getting the belt back in the near future.

Others toil for years before reaching such heights. What is his secret?

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